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Opinions of Thursday, 26 March 2020

Columnist: Kobina Ansah

4 lessons to learn from the war between man and coronavirus


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The past few weeks have been a tough one in the world over. Hospital beds are exhausted. The old are dying just as much as the young are. As many rich people are perishing as the poor ones. The economies of nations are crashing. Businesses are on their knees. Life has literally come to a halt and everyone is fleeing from one name— Coronavirus!

Who ever thought that man could be so afraid of germs!? Who ever thought that microorganisms could rip nations apart as much as it is doing now!? Who ever dreamt of a day where they would be afraid to come out of their rooms because of some unseen germ hovering over the place?

In this war of humanity against Coronavirus, it is obvious how many health workers are risking their lives for others to live. It goes without saying that leaders across the nations are not resting either. They are investing so much to manage the pandemic and its effects.

It is during these times that we realize how human we all are despite our differences. Regardless of our different locations, we are now fighting a common enemy which is teaching us several priceless lessons we may have taken for granted over the years.

“Other people’s problem is your problem!”

The global crisis we are currently facing tells us a lot about how interconnected we are as a people. No man is an island even if they live on as island. Despite our different skin colors, we all have the same blood running down our veins.

Though the virus reared its head in China first, it has spread throughout almost every part of the world, pointing to the fact that if one doesn’t care about other people’s crisis, it soon becomes their crisis, too.

If you see a brother in pain, let it be your pain as well. Show some concern when others are mistreated. If you hear of the numerous road accidents, be alarmed. Don’t assume it is far away. Soon, you may be a victim!

“Sometimes, your greatest enemies are the little things you don’t see!”

It is amazing how a virus can cause a shutdown in the whole world. It beats my imagination how a microorganism can cause so much fear and panic in the world over. Many are scared. Fear is boldly written on their faces. Their lifestyles have been greatly altered courtesy coronavirus.

Though we can’t see this enemy of a virus we are fighting, it is wreaking havoc all over the place. Thousands have perished in these few weeks. Millions of dollars have been lost in this battle. Oftentimes, we assume our greatest enemies are the people who blatantly show their hatred for us. We think our greatest enemies are our competitors. Unfortunately, our greatest enemies are not seen. Our greatest threats are not what we think they are. They are the little things we take for granted— our poor mindset, the procrastination, laziness, ill-confidence and fear among others. These are the little viruses that are getting in the way of our dreams.

“Death is no respecter of class!”

In these few weeks, there have been reported cases of many celebrities being infected by the virus. Many wealthy people have lost their lives to this virus, pointing to the fact that death can’t be bribed. When it comes knocking, it pays no attention to how much or little one has.

Death humbles us. It makes us know that we all have the same fate— regardless of how much we have been able to gather for ourselves on earth. If we consider death carefully, we will not be proud because the fate of the rich and poor are same— six feet down the earth!

If almighty death is no respecter of persons, we ought to learn to treat people with dignity. If one virus can make us give up all we have ever accumulated, it tells us that life is bigger than our riches, thus, we need to treat others as we would have wanted them to treat us if we were in their position.

“Some condemn corruption but are worse!”

Observe how ‘common’ citizens inflated the prices of hand sanitizers just when they noticed people needed such most in these times. The outrageous prices of these sanitizers tell a lot about us as a people— some of us are worse than politicians but we just have not had their opportunity yet.

When people condemn a particular wrong, never assume they would have done it right if they have not had the same opportunity yet. Sometimes, people condemn wrong just because they wish they were the ones with such an opportunity— not because they want to do it right.

Many condemn some wrongs and when they have the same opportunity, they do worse. Don’t put your faith in anyone who claims to be fighting for your freedom. Never let down your guards for anyone because they are advocating for change. They may actually be worse than your suppressors!

Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play, “Emergency Wedding”, happens on Saturday, 25th & Sunday, 26th April, 2020 at National Theatre. Call 0269654873 for details.

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